Destry Rides Again is a well-constructed movie. It provides just the right amount of lush details so your suspension of disbelief is firmly established. A few shots of horses barreling down
dangerous mountain roads and a few head of cattle going past a fence and you completely discount the fact that nearly every scene is either inside a studio set or a backlot façade of a boomtown. A string of comedic elements and dialog entertains us so well that its somewhat thin storyline is overlooked. We are all wrapped up in the characters—the town drunk who gets appointed sheriff, the Iron Matron of the dance hall with a secret heart of gold, the easy mannered deputy with a sly mind, and the silent but crafty mayor. All of these roles are filled with well-accomplished actors and character actors. The true charm of Destry Rides Again is that there is nothing wanting. You get song, humor, action, suspense, and a tug on the heartstrings. While Destry Rides Again performed well at the box office, it was not an extravagant success at the time. However, and I think this is because of how well the movie was constructed, Destry Rides Again remains high on the list of memorable westerns. A couple of quick side notes: Destry Rides Again was James Stewart’s first Western. It was also credited with revitalizing Marlene Dietrich’s career.